10 Dogs With the Best Temperament for Families

Dec. 2, 2015

The kids have been asking for a dog for some time now, so you and your spouse have finally caved. What type of dog should you get? These 10 all have great temperaments and will be a welcome addition to your home.

All kinds of families enjoy life with a pet, and for many families, a dog is the top choice. But deciding on the right kind of canine for your family is especially important to making a good match.

If you're looking for a dog that will fit right in with your family, here's a list of 10 dogs with the best temperament, courtesy of Vet Street:

  1. Golden Retriever
    If there's one dog that typifies a friendly dog, it's a golden. They're loyal, fun, intelligent and love everyone they meet. They just always seem to be happy!

  2. Collie
    First and foremost, collies love children and love playing with them. They'll love you, too, since they thrive on being around all family members. And while most collies don't have the powers of Lassie, they are gentle and affectionate, two traits that make a great family dog.

  3. Saint Bernard
    Don't let the size fool you. With some initial training, these dogs are gentle giants. A Saint Bernard will be calm and patient with kids. He's also big enough that little ones won't hurt him during playtime.

  4. Great Dane
    Great Danes are also big dogs. But they have the heart to match their size. Affectionate and loving, Danes will adore your kids and get along with other family pets. They're also very protective of their families.

  5. Pugs
    On the opposite end of the size spectrum is the pug. These fun-loving little guys were originally bred as companion dogs, and they certainly live up to that billing. Get used to having a four-legged shadow because pugs will follow you from room to room.

  6. Boxers
    Don't let the wrinkled face fool you. Boxers love their owners (and their children, too). They're happy and fun, and that's reflected in their willingness to play. They're also intelligent. So make sure they're properly trained early or else they might outsmart you.

  7. Staffordshire Bull Terriers

    These guys truly love their humans. Originally from Great Britain, they were given the nickname of "the children's nursemaid." They are smart and tenacious but also full of energy and enthusiasm. A Stafford thrives on being by your side while also being protective of you and your family.

  8. Bulldog
    This gentle fellow is perfectly described by the word "good-natured." He loves kids, is affectionate and exudes loyalty. They're also easy to train. Their even temperament makes them suitable for any age, including older folks looking for companionship of the furry kind.

  9. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
    These cute fur balls enjoy your presence no matter where you are. They might even try to follow you into the bathroom. Another breed that loves children, they do better with older kids, given their small size. So teach your little toddlers how to pet them gently. One advantage of their small size, however, is they're perfectly suited for a quality cuddle in your lap.

  10. Labrador Retriever
    No list of dogs with the best temperament would be complete without including the Labrador retriever. The typical Lab is outgoing and kind, eager to please her owner and rarely aggressive toward people or other animals. They tend to have high energy levels, which make them a perfect fit for active families. Like a bulldog, a Lab's even temperament makes him ideally suited for older folks.

If you're unsure whether a pet in general is right for your family, take a look at 10 Signs Your Family Is Ready for A Pet.

Does your family dog have a good temperament? Share your dog's breed and best personality trait in the comments!

Steve Auger is a freelance writer residing just north of Boston, Massachusetts. As relatively new parents, he and his wife Lauren quickly learned that parenthood is short on sleep (and sometimes patience) but diapers, toothless smiles and lots of love are plentiful.

Tips and stories from parents and caregivers who’ve been there.

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